State legislators have taken substantial strides in recent years to reinforce the rights of bicycle riders on public roads and reduce the risk that bicyclists will be struck by passing motorists. Unfortunately, hundreds of collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles still happen every year. Many of these accidents lead to serious injuries that could have been avoided altogether if the driver involved had been a little more careful.
If you suffered cycling injuries due to someone else’s misconduct reach out to a seasoned personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. With a Ladera Heights bicycle accident lawyer on your side, you could maximize the value of your claim and recover the compensation you deserve.
How Liability Works in Bicycle Crash Claims
Under state law, motor vehicle drivers must give bicyclists at least three feet of space in all directions at all times. Additionally, motorists cannot drive, stop, or park in a designated bike lane for any reason other than an emergency. Accordingly, if a motor vehicle driver breaks one of these laws and hits you, they could be considered legally negligent and therefore financially liable for your injuries and damages.
By the same token, bicyclists must follow the rules of the road themselves. You are required to stop at stop signs and lights, ride with the flow of traffic in most situations, and use bike lanes whenever they are available. If the court determines you contributed to your own accident by disobeying one or more applicable laws, you could be found partially negligent.
In this kind of scenario, a court may assign you a percentage of the total fault for the incident and reduce your final damages award by that percentage. For example, a bicyclist found 20 percent responisble for a collision with a motor vehicle would only be allowed to recover for 80 percent of their overall damages. Support from a Ladera Heights attorney could be crucial not only to understanding how fault works in bike accident cases, but also to effectively contesting allegations of comparative negligence.
Recovering Damages Through a Successful Claim in Ladera Heights
A comprehensive bicycle accident lawsuit should account for the economic and non-economic harm you suffered due to the collision. Economic damages are those with objective fiscal values like bike repair or replacement costs, medical bills, and lost work wages. Non-economic damages are those without objective fiscal value, like physical pain, emotional suffering, and lost quality of life.
Depending on the situation, a cycling accident lawyer could help you request punitive damages, which the court issues to punish the defendant. However, as per California Civil Code §3294, these damages are only available if you have “clear and convincing evidence” that a defendant engaged in “oppression, fraud, or malice.”
Discuss Recovery Options with a Ladera Heights Bicycle Accident Attorney
Making sense of your legal options after a traumatic bike crash can be a challenging endeavor, particularly if you are still dealing with the physical effects of a severe injury. Consider consulting a dedicated legal professional who has helped people like you through similar situations in the past.
A seasoned Ladera Heights bicycle accident lawyer could answer your questions and explain your options in detail during a private consultation. Schedule your meeting by calling today.